Valuable Voices

 
 


At the beginning of Jurupa Unified Board of Education meetings, a student representative from each high school reports what is happening on their campus.

Priscilla Perez“Having student representatives at our meetings helps the Board and community learn more about our schools,” stated Melissa Ragole, Board President. “Listening to each student leaves me awestruck, as this often is their first public speaking platform and experience working in public service.”

Students are selected from the Associated Student Body (ASB) and are already involved in events and activities around campus that inform their reports. “I have a lot of pride and devotion for my school and I'm involved in a lot of activities here,” said Priscilla Perez, Jurupa Valley High’s representative. “I love to report all the things that we do.” 

Hailey BisbeeYet despite their active roles, student representatives cannot be everywhere at once and still rely on administrators and staff to report achievements and activities by clubs and sports. “I'm extremely supported, especially by the administration,” shared Hailey Bisbee, Patriot High’s representative. “They're always communicating any updates that I need.”

Hailey, now a junior, began her tenure while she was a sophomore, but others are newer to the position. “My first board meeting, it was pretty scary because I [didn’t] know any of the board members, but they were very welcoming,” said Priscilla, who started in the fall. "Each [board member] always says what they love about our presentation and what they love about our school. It makes me feel even more proud of our district.” 

 
 


When Nueva Vista High’s former representative graduated in December, Alan Rodriguez volunteered to replace her. “I want to be a real estate agent when I finish high school and my teacher said it's good experience and practice for that kind of field,” said Alan. 

Alan RodriguezAlan’s uncle is a real estate agent, and he likes to involve himself in his community. Alan views his participation in board meetings as a way for him to gain that same experience of community involvement. After his first meeting, he was surprised by how interested he was to hear reports from other schools. 

Erika Guardamondo, Rubidoux High’s representative, believes that sharing among schools is why student representatives are important. “Other schools can maybe take some ideas and put that back into their school,” she said, noting she does exactly that.

Erika also enjoys sharing what is unique about her campus. “We did [Hispanic Heritage Month] and most schools don’t do that,” she said, adding that an event in the quad featured tacos, music performances from students, and dancing. “I think it’s important because everyone needs to know a little bit about the heritage and the culture it brings.”

Erika GuardamondoThough hearing from other high schools is highly valued, another aspect of attending meetings is hearing directly from the community. “We've had a lot of movements in the community recently,” shared Hailey. “Listening to the dialogue back and forth between the District and our community members [has been] really influential to me as a board representative. I've realized that our district cares a lot and I know that's really important. They're always listening.”

Being a student representative requires high levels of attention, communication, and commitment, and the effort does not go unnoticed by district leaders. “We are delighted to have student school board members attend our board meetings,” said Dr. Trenton Hansen, superintendent. “Their leadership and the reports they give about their schools remind us of why we became educators.”



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